Day 19: Colorado wildfire - High Park Fire near Fort Collins now 87,284 acres, 65 percent containment, 257 homes destroyed, 1 dead

6:40 PM, Jun 27, 2012   |    comments
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The estimated containment date has been moved up from July 30th to July 15th.

Larimer County officials confirm that 257 homes have been destroyed by the blaze. The current cost of the fire to date it estimated at $33.1 million.

Officials are informing homeowners about fire damage as that information becomes available and the priority will be getting this information to residents first.

Factors being considered before lifting an evacuation include fire activity, utility repair, emergency traffic in the area, and road hazards such as falling rocks and trees.

Officials have also opened Stove Prairie Road (CR27) for residents only from Stringtown Gulch Road to Buckhorn Road (CR44H) at noon Wednesday. Another section of Redstone Canyon Road at noon wedseday. Redstone Canyon Road is now open to residents only from Christ Mountain Road to the Laurence Creek entrance gate. The Laurence Creek area has not reopened. Residents will not be able to access properties from Buckhorn Road (CR44H) or from Stove Prairie Road (CR27) north of Buckhorn Road at this time.

No special passes are required, but residents should be ready to show identification at checkpoints and roadblocks. This includes the following streets:

  • Redtail Ridge
  • Moondance Way
  • Vortex Drive
  • Hawk Valley Drive
  • Patience Way
  • Ohana Way
  • Lightning Ridge
A large reintegration is planned for the Rist Canyon area at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Several hundred residents will be allowed back to their homes in numerous neighborhoods. Over 700 notifications were made this afternoon. Residents are encouraged to attend the upcoming citizen briefings for critical safety, communications and utility information.


Citizen briefings will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. The briefings will be held at the Cache La Poudre middle school, located at 3515 W. CR54G in La Porte. Credentials may also be obtained between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday.

A Red Flag warning has been issued until 8 p.m. tonight. This marks the eighth consecutive day of Red Flag warnings. Dry, frequent lightning and gusty winds are expected. Wind gusts up to 50 mph are considered likely. These conditions may contribute to intense fire activity.

Find out road closure information here

Larimer County opened the High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center on June 15, at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center will likely remain open for three to four weeks. More information about the Disaster Recovery Center at larimer.org.

The Red Cross opened a second shelter on June 15 at the Cache La Poudre Middle School, located at 3515 West County 54G in Laporte. 

Legal assistance is being made available to those affected by the High Park Fire. A toll free legal helpline is available at 1-800-332-6736. Callers will leave their name, contact information and legal issue and will be contacted by an attorney in 48 hours. For more information call 303-824-5347.

Due to the high-fire danger and the very dry conditions in Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper banned open burning and private use of fireworks throughout the state. The ban does not apply to campfires in fire pits, fireplaces, grills or controlled burns for agricultural purposes. Commercial, professional and municipal firework displays are allowed as long as they have the proper permits.

Some cities, however, already have the go-ahead for their July 4th fireworks shows. A list of cancelled and approved fireworks shows can be found here.

On June 11, authorities confirmed 62-year-old Linda Steadman died from the blaze. Search crews found Steadman's remains at her house on Old Flowers Road.

Authorities say Steadman received two notification calls. A deputy was on his way to personally warn her, but he was pushed back by flames.

Large animals and livestock can be taken to The Ranch Events Complex at 5280 Arena Circle, Suite 100 in Loveland also. Small domestic animals can be taken to the Larimer County Humane Society. If you want to help the evacuated animals, you can donate to the Larimer Humane Society online, www.larimerhumane.org.

All the wolves were evacuated from the Wolf Sanctuary after the fire broke out. If you would like to help, offers can be made on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nocowolfsanctuary.

The High Park Fire was first spotted at around 6 a.m. on June 9. Crews had to hike through difficult terrain to first reach the area.

Officials say lightning caused the High Park Fire.

Resources:

Ashley Guera contributed to this report.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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